South Africa completed a 5-0 whitewash against a depleted Sri Lankan outfit on Friday to reach the top of the ICC ODI Team Rankings as they won the fifth and final game comprehensively by 88 runs at Centurion.
South African opening batsmen, Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla hit magnificent centuries as the visiting bowlers took another pounding with the hosts posting a mammoth 384 for 6, which is also their highest in ODIs against Sri Lanka, and their ninth-highest against any team.
Chasing an improbable 385, Sri Lanka ended on 296 for 8 at the back of Asela Gunarathne’s maiden ODI hundred as the visitors lasted the 50 overs for the very first time this series.
The number 6 batsman from Sri Lanka Army played a gem of an innings smashing 14 fours and 2 sixes to remain unbeaten on 114 from 117 balls together with Suranga Lakmal as they added 97 unbroken runs for the 9th wicket.
Gunarathne scored his last fifty off just 25 deliveries as he became Sri Lanka’s only silver lining in a game completely dominated by the Proteas as they completed their 14th consecutive win at home.
Early on in the Lankan innings, Niroshan ‘Dickscooped’ K Rabada twice in another entertaining innings of 39 but the top five batsmen fell in 13.1 overs for just 82 runs. Chris Morris struck twice early on as skipper Tharanga sliced through to third-man and Kusal Mendis smoked it straight to De Villiers at mid-off. Morris took two more wickets to end up with four for 31 from his allocation of 10 overs.
Wayne Parnell picked up both Dickwella and Sandun Weerakkody while Tahir deceived Dhananjaya De Silva with a perfect googly. Asela Gunarathne and Sachith Pathirana added 93 for the 6th wicket with the latter recording his maiden ODI fifty but the target was far-fetched for the Islanders.
After being asked to bat first on a belter of a surface, De Kock hit 109 off 87 balls, playing the aggressive role in an opening partnership of 187, a record for South Africa against Sri Lanka while Amla was dropped on 27 and 42 but cracked his 24th ODI century and went on to make 154 off 134 balls.
Amla took 112 balls to reach his century but cut loose after reaching the landmark, hitting another 54 runs off 22 deliveries and adding five sixes and three fours to the 12 boundaries he hit in reaching three figures.
De Kock needed only 80 balls to reach his 12th hundred in just 74 games. Suranga Lakmal struck for the visitors when he had De Kock caught on the point boundary. Faf du Plessis mistimed a Lahiru Madushanka delivery to Lakmal at mid-off after smashing 41, including 2 sixes and a four.
De Villiers and Duminy fell cheaply but Behardien made some lusty blows as the hosts scored 99 runs off the last 8 overs with South Africa reaching their 24th instance of scoring 350 or more in ODI cricket. Most of the bowlers were taken to the cleaners but Lakmal claimed three wickets while conceding 71 runs in ten overs.